Over the last 20 years Prada has taken it sweet time in selling its replica handbags, shoes and accessories online, but 2017 will see the company ramp up its investment in boosting online sales, and reducing physical stores.
It’s a trend, just in case you haven’t noticed. Many established brands, especially in the luxury division, are focusing more on its e-commerce sales and planning to go light when it comes to its bricks and mortar investment. With the rise in online shopping, they’re sluggishly learning that consumers just aren’t shopping the way they once did.
The replica Prada Group is a good example of being painfully slow to adopt e-commerce into its strategy. Since the company’s worst profits went public in 2011, it admits that people today are shopping differently than they used to. “Customers have changed deeply over the last 10 years,” says Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of Prada.
The company says it will invest further in its e-commerce operations globally and develop an omnichannel offering. “To integrate the retail and online channels, we will continue to dedicate significant resources to developing an omnichannel offer, through the rollout of our global digital platform, collaboration with e-tailers, and in-store digital integration,” it said in its full year 2016 results statement. “With this goal, we have built a new team that will bring further expertise to the Group’s digital strategy.”
The cost of the late realisation from Prada outlet about changing consumer behaviour comes following the company’s 16% decline in profits to US $295 million in its 2016 financial statements, with its brandsMiu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe getting hit badly from decreasing Chinese demand and an over investment in its physical retail offering there.
As part of its turnaround strategy, Prada has unveiled a digital ad campaign that will focus on younger consumers and a shift towards closing stores and having its entire selection of luxury merchandise sold on its e-commerce platform.
In support of this, Prada has hired the services of Chiara Tosto, ex-commercial director at Mediaset in Milan, who will lead the new digitally focused team and the Group further into e-commerce territory. This will involve building new e-commerce platforms for replica Prada and Miu Miu, and making each brand’s entire product selection available for purchase online.
Australia will be one of the countries that replica Prada Group will invest in expanding localised e-commerce platforms, with New Zealand, China, Korea and Russia part of their list of five. “Providing a more consistent experience online, based on our DNA, is a priority,” according to Bertelli.
Even with its limited e-commerce capabilities, Prada replica has still managed to successfully build its brand identity online, and there’s no doubt that CRM experienced Tosato in charge will help the brand to improve its online offering, with both look and feel, and streamline e-commerce logistics as well.